Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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Fake Doctor Sentenced to 38.25 Years in Prison after Botched Cosmetic Surgeries

For Immediate Release: August 08, 2017
Contact: Mia Garcia (602) 339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov

TUCSON - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Gustavo Nunez was sentenced to 38.25 years in prison for performing illegal cosmetic surgeries. In April 2017, Nunez pleaded guilty to 28 felony charges after performing illegal liposuction procedures. Seven victims had procedures performed by Nunez in Tucson between 2012 and 2014. Three victims had to be hospitalized after botched surgeries and one sustained life-threatening injuries.

“Gustavo Nunez victimized unsuspecting women and violated the public’s trust.  Justice has been served," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

In August 2013, Nunez was arrested after two women reported to local hospitals with serious aggressive infections stemming from liposuction procedures performed by Nunez. An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ("DEA") Tactical Diversion Squad in Tucson revealed that Nunez was not a doctor and had no official medical training. After the news broke of Nunez’s arrest, more women came forward stating they had procedures performed by Nunez.

"Gustavo Nunez represents the worst type of criminal.  One who preyed upon women in our communities and most certainly deserves the sentence handed to him today,” said Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona. “The DEA is committed to protecting our citizens from dangerous offenders who operate under false pretenses and put the lives of our loved ones in danger.”
 

DEA agents served a search warrant on his business in Tucson. Nunez’s office had been set up to look like a professional doctor’s office complete with operating table, medical equipment, and cabinets stocked with prescription medications. A judge released Nunez on bond shortly after his arrest.

In June 2014, a woman was dropped off at a Tucson hospital after Nunez had attempted to perform liposuction on her and she stopped breathing. An investigation by the Pima County Sheriff's Office revealed Nunez did not seek medical care for her for almost an hour while she had multiple seizures and she suffered from lack of oxygen to the brain. The woman spent the next six weeks in a coma suffering from a brain injury. She now has permanent stroke-like symptoms. Nunez was arrested again and held without bond.

Arizona Assistant Attorneys General Jordan Emerson and Joshua Moser are prosecuting this case.